Green Hills Literary Lantern




Right after he first lost

his job his skin began

to crust. Hard lumps

pushed through hide-like

flesh. His hair fell off.

his wife, repulsed, slept

on the couch; his kids

urged friends to stay away.

He looked for work

but waddling in with bulging eyes

he gave receptionists a fright.

Do anything! he said he said

--but who would help?

With reptile snout and growing

fangs he muddied down

to wait for prey

and sleep tomorrow off.




Robert Joe Stout is a long-time freelance journalist and former magazine editor. He has been published in Subprimal Poetry, Emrys Journal, Existere, America, New Politics, Two Thirds North, Chic, Conscience, The Louisville Review, Into the Void and many other magazines and journals. He lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.